Rael, a Buena Park-based organic feminine care and beauty brand, has raised $35 million in a Series B funding round, the company announced Wednesday.
The funding was led by the venture arms of two Asian companies: Japanese gaming firm Colopl’s Colopl Next and South Korean conglomerate Shinsegae Group’s Signite Partners. Aarden Partners and ST Capital also participated, as did existing investors Mirae Asset and Unilever Ventures.
Rael described the new round—which takes its total funding to date to $59 million—as “the largest amount raised in the U.S. feminine care category to date.” The company said it plans to use the capital to grow its product offerings, retail partnerships and global marketing reach.
Having already branched into skincare products meant to combat hormonal acne, co-founder and CEO Yanghee Paik said Rael plans on further expanding beyond basic feminine care products. “We aspire to be a clean, holistic personal care brand for women, so we’re graduating from just being another organic feminine care company,” Paik told dot.LA.
Paik and her two co-founders, who are all Korean-American women, launched Rael in 2017 and started out by selling organic pads on Amazon. Paik said she was inspired by the products she would bring back home after trips to South Korea, where the organic category represents more than 30% of the feminine care market (compared to less than 10% of the U.S. market, according to Rael). The startup has since expanded into retail stores like Target and Walmart, and part of its new funding will be dedicated to further growing its retail presence.
“The feminine care industry is not like beauty, which attracted a lot of investors initially,” Paik said. “People are noticing that it’s one of the markets that has not been noticed by investors as much, but has a lot of growth potential because it’s been dominated by big brands. Now there are female-founded smaller brands that are trying to make a difference there.”
As part of Rael’s growth efforts, the company has also brought in Lauren Consiglio, a former marketing executive at Unilever and L’Oreal, as its president.